OK. We have made a lot of hoopla around mental health and the forms of illness and we will continue that.
But the question that i was asked by a reader was how to speak about it. And gosh, that is important and we completely missed it.
If you recognize symptoms of any common mental health problem and are worried, or if you feel that something isn’t right but you can’t put your finger on why, we recommend that you speak to someone in family, someone who cares and then therapist.
Some of the most frequently experienced symptoms include:
- loss of apetite
- feeling low or constantly anxious or worrying
- thinking negative thoughts about yourself
- irritability or moodiness
- finding it harder than usual to concentrate
- not enjoying your life as much as you once did
- finding day-to-day life difficult (not feeling up to washing or eating, for example)
- trouble sleeping, or sleeping too much
- seeing or hearing things that other people do not see or hear
One thing is important- You may be generally sad and not depressed even with these symptoms, it’s the persistence of these symptoms over a period of time that is crucial.
It can be daunting to speak to someone that you may not know well about your mental health, but most people find that speaking can make all the difference to their lives.
And this “Speaking Up” is not a cake walk and we know that. Make some pointers before you speak to your therapist:
- Be patient, the treatment mat take time.
- Communication is the key- Your doctor is not a mind reader or an astrologer, communicate clearly about your life events or thought process so that he/ she can come up with proper diagnosis.
- State your expectations and understand his limitations
- Be a good person with timely follow back.
- Remember that diagnosing and treating depression takes time and expertise, so if your goal is to make your symptoms disappear immediately, you’re likely to be disappointed
- Treat him/her as a friend rather than a doctor.
One movie that hugely impressed me with a patient- therapist relationship is Dear Zindagi. This exploration of the inner life of a young successful, ambitious woman confused with relationships (Sounds familiar……Na?) is fairly unprecedented in Bollywood. In Tanu Weds Manu 2, we do get a chance to see Tanu’s bipolar struggles. But the shabby treatment of the movie and a predictable attempt to make it comedy with punchlines like
“Tu Kaun hai be?”
“Main kandha hun”( I am that shoulder on which girls lean). ………….Oh please, give me some better jokes.
Instead, in the opening scene, Tanu manages to turn marriage counselling into an opportunity to get her husband locked up in an asylum.(WTF) In Queen, Rani needs the trip to Paris to transform herself into this confident avatar (But we ain’t geeting Paris dear ladies)
It’s soothing, therefore, to hear Khan tell Kiara that she doesn’t have to forgive her parents or confront them for abandoning her. To hear Khan tell Kiara that she is not “cheap” but “superfine” to not settle for the first man who comes down the pike. Kiara has nightmares about society judging her for being unmarried and unloved. (Happening with definitely me).It’s even more soothing when Khan tells Kiara that no society — no matter how judgmental — doesn’t have to think well of her, as long as she thinks well of herself.
The best part about this movie is how Gauri shinde doesn’t create any love angle between therapist and Kaira. And that is how it should be, we all are left crushing over Shahrukh and a rocking chair. But what we leave behind is :
When Kaira confesses about life being an interminable musical in so far as the new singer guy in her life is concerned, SRK’s Dr Khan is quick to retort with a good humoured jibe: “Aur tumhein to dialogue pasand hain (You like dialogues)”. Or when he himself says “we are all our own teachers in the school of life” and then comes back with “ye kuchh zyada heavy ho gaya (it’s too heavy-handed)”. Oh, we love you Shahrukh.
Dear Zindagi is a breezy change in the rare movies pertaining to mental health. I will leave you with a beautiful deleted scene of Dear Zindagi.